Making pizza at home can be a fun meal, and using a pizza stone can help ensure the pizza crust comes out crispy, chewy, or however you like it. Choosing the best pizza stone starts with measuring your oven carefully to make sure the stone will fit well inside the oven. It helps to choose a stone that is as close to the dimensions of the oven as possible; this helps the stone capture and retain heat more efficiently. Be sure to consider your budget as well, as stones can vary in price according to size and quality.
The stones are usually made from firebrick, which is a material that can capture and retain heat effectively, spreading the heat evenly throughout the oven and leading to a more evenly cooked pizza. Some stones are thinner than others, and some are more prone to cracking. Be sure to read pizza stone reviews on the Internet to find out how durable the stones you are considering purchasing have been for other customers. You should not base your decision entirely on these reviews alone, but they may give you an indication if there is a consistent problem with a specific brand of stone.
Generally speaking, thicker stones are better. They are more resistant to damage and cracking, and they may retain heat more efficiently. Pizza stone models usually come in either squares or circles. Both are usually well suited for making pizzas, but the square stone will cover more of the oven and it will make putting the pizza on the stone and taking it off much easier. It is also a good choice if you intend to make other types of food on the stone, as the square stone gives you more placement options. Round stones can be less expensive, however, so if you are on a tight budget, consider the round stone instead.
The do-it-yourselfer can make a pizza stone from scratch by buying unglazed quarry tiles from a local hardware or supply store. These tiles can be laid in the oven to capture and retain heat in much the same way that a pizza stone will, and the cost of the tiles will be significantly less than that of a stone. The tiles will need to be laid out before every use, however, which means more of an investment of time, and they can be prone to cracking due to the high temperature of the oven.